An Explanation of Admission Decisions

It’s finally here: the day you have been holding your breath for, decision day. We are thankful for all of the applications we have received, and we are beyond excited to release our decisions. With all of the excitement, we want each of you to understand all of the decisions you could possibly face. We want to help you prepare for decision day and be more confident in your next steps.

So let’s get to it!


Congrats, you are an ILLINI! This decision may seem like the most self-explanatory one. Certainly, it is a time to celebrate. But after you scream, jump up and down, and then catch your breath, make sure you continue to read through your admitted status.

As you may already know, students can be admitted to their first-choice major, second-choice major, or an alternate major. So you should check to see which major you were admitted to. If you weren’t admitted to your first-choice major, you have been placed on the wait list for that major.

Your Admitted Student Checklist, which can be found in myIllini, is a great resource for finding out the next steps on your journey to joining the Illini family. Also, check out our admitted student FAQ to receive answers to any questions you may have. Students wanting to change their major should call our office for more information on the process.


While this decision may be disappointing, it is important to know that we received thousands of applications, and while we would love to make everyone an Illini, it was a very competitive process. Be sure to check out our denied FAQ for more information. We also encourage you to look into the opportunity of transferring into Illinois after completing 30 transferable credits at another institution. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about transferring.


Early action applicants may receive a deferred decision. Being deferred can occur if you have applied to a competitive major or college. This means that we need more time to review your application. We will review the strength of your application with our entire applicant pool. Because we will receive all of our applications by January, you will receive a final decision on March 1.  We will not accept any additional documents while you are waiting for your decision.

Wait Listed

Regular decision applicants may be placed on our wait list. Being wait listed may seem like another self-explanatory decision, but there are two types of wait-list decisions. If your decision says “Offered Wait List,” this means that we have placed you on the wait list for your first-choice major. If your decision says “Offered Campus Wait List,” this means that we have placed you on the wait list for your second-choice major, the Division of General Studies, or any alternate majors that may fit the academic interests demonstrated within your application.

You are probably thinking, “How competitive is this wait list?” Well, to answer your question, we do not rank our wait list. Students are selected off the wait list based on various factors. We select students that fit the remaining needs of our incoming class after conducting a holistic review.

I know this was a lot to take in, and I hope it brings clarity for what to expect. Now, let’s get excited for decision day! Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns, or you can comment below.



Regional Representative, Undergraduate Admissions
I live in Atlanta, Georgia and recruit students from both Georgia and my home state of Florida. I earned my BS from Florida State University and am currently working on my MBA at Nova Southeastern University.


  • Hi,

    My son got deferred. This is really to my surprise. His first choice is Computer Science and the second choice is DGS. He has perfect ACT and GPA. I understand CS major in UIUC is competitive. But wondering why he is not admitted to his second choice. We need to make a decision on whether we need to apply other universities.



  • Hello,

    Similar to David Xu’s son (see comments above) I was also deferred to the CS program and my backup was Aerospace Engineering. Understanding that both these programs are competitive, my main question is if I was deferred purely based on my first choice major or was my second choice major also looked at? I knew getting into CS would be a stretch but I did not think I would be deferred for Aerospace engineering based on the strength of my application. Any response to this question would be much appreciated!

  • Thank you for your comment. If you would like more clarification on your decision, please contact our office at 217-333-0302. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 pm to 5pm Central Time.

    Thank you,


  • Are they handling music education students differently? My daughter applied for early decision and there is no decision listed at all.

  • Hello,

    My son’s application was deferred. He was applying to the communications progam in LAS as his first choice as a major. His second choice major was Recreation, Sports and Tourism because he has an interest in sports media. Was his second choice major considered before the deferral decision?

    Thank you.


  • Hello, fine arts students have a different process. If the student has not done an interview or an audition, please contact our office or the College of FAA to see where the student is in their process.

  • Hello Jesse,

    This year, we have received a record number of applications, and have had very a competitive applicant pool. A deferred decision for an Early Action applicant means that we would like to determine how you and your strengths fit into this year’s entire freshman applicant pool. In order to do that, we need to wait until we’ve received all applications.

    Deferred students will be fully reviewed again during our second review period. You’ll be given a decision by our second notification date.

    Please note that we will not consider any additional documents (7th semester grades, letters, resume updates) while you’re waiting on your decision. However, we will accept updated test scores that arrive prior to your final decision release on March 1.

  • My son was accepted to his second-choice major. You mention that if you weren’t admitted to your first-choice major, you would have been placed on the wait list for that major. Does that happen automatically? If so, when would he know if he is accepted or denied to his first-choice major?